2019 Quilt PhotoSome of the most beautiful and practical items of Ozark life will once again be on display during the 25th annual Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo.  The Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1, in and around the West Plains Civic Center grounds. Admission to all festival events is free.

The Southern Belle Grandmothers Club of West Plains will host its annual quilt show in conjunction with the festival, and organizers encourage area residents and quilt enthusiasts to bring their favorite quilts to display. The show will take place in the Magnolia Room of the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St., one of the venues for the two-day festival.  The Quilt Show will be open 1-7 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. Saturday. Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are noon-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Cindy McLean will also have a demonstration of hands-on quilting on the Mezzanine during the Festival. Come visit with the quilters and view the many beautiful pieces that will be on display. Quilts from previous events will be displayed, as well as other fabric art items.

2014 Festival Bed TurningNow in its sixth year, an old-fashioned “quilt turning” will be featured on the mezzanine of the Civic Center.  Turnings are scheduled for 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31; and 10:30 a.m., 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 1.  Quilt turning evolved from ladies proudly showing their prized quilts to friends and visitors.  As quilts were often stored on beds, the quilts were shown along with a short story told about the pattern, materials and historical points.  After a quilt was viewed, it was folded to the foot of the bed, exposing the next quilt to be admired.  Don’t miss these fun and entertaining presentations, and then proceed to the Magnolia Room for the annual quilt show.

The quilt show was first held in 2005 in the historic Butler Building on Washington Avenue and joined the festival in 2006 as an annual featured exhibit. It showcases all types of quilts – individually made, group quilted, hand-pieced, hand-quilted, machine-pieced or quilted, or any combination. Those visiting the show are given stickers to vote for their selection for the People’s Choice Award announced at the end of the exhibit.

Those wishing to display a quilt should drop it off during set-up Thursday evening from 5:30-7:00 p.m. or Friday morning, 9:00 till 11:00 a.m. in the Magnolia Room. All participants are asked to pin a note to their quilts that tells the story of its maker, use or other history of the piece. Every quilt has a story, and sharing that is part of the festival mission, organizers said.  Help setting up the exhibit is always appreciated. Those wishing to lend a hand should contact Cheryl Kuschel at 417-257-1067. Quilt pick-up will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

As part of their charitable fundraising efforts, club members offer a hand-pieced quilt each year.  Tickets are $1 each and the 2019 quilt will be exhibited at the festival in addition to other locations throughout the year.  The quilt will be given away in October. This year’s quilt is an heirloom design titled “Back to Nature Revisited.”

Southern Belle Grandmothers Club (SBGC) Chapter No. 1011 is a member of the National Federation of Grandmothers Clubs of America, a non-profit organization that supports charitable projects relating to cures for children’s diseases. The local chapter supports Ronald McDonald Houses of Missouri, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and C.U.R.E. research organization.  SBGC meets the 4th Thursday of each month for a dutch-treat lunch at the West Plains Senior Center on East Main at 11:45 a.m., followed by a business meeting at 1:00 p.m. For more information, contact Vice-President Barbara Butler at 417-256-6184.


2014 Festival Quilting Cindy McLeanCindy McLean, a member of the Southern Belle Grandmothers Club of West Plains, has been demonstrating traditional quilting techniques since 2006 at the Festival. Attendees are encouraged to try their hand at stitching, and then sign their “square.” Quilts from previous years are on display, so those who have participated in years past may find their signatures on them.


Fabric arts are a huge part of our history and heritage. McLean brings many examples of quilts, aprons, and other home-produced items that were such a huge part of the culture in years past. A visit to this exhibit is time well-spent.

2019 Festival partners include the West Plains Council on the Arts, the City of West Plains, Missouri State University-West Plains, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, and the West Plains Civic Center.  Partial funding for this event was provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.


                For more information on the festival e-mail info@westplainsarts.org, visit the website at http://www.oldtimemusic​.​org, or “like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Old.Time.Music.Festival